Mike Sanderson and team add more points to their already healthy VOR scoresheet 9/5/06

At 0810 GMT today Mike Sanderson and his ABN AMRO One team crossed the New York finish line to take Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Team ABN AMRO One broke through movistar’s lead yesterday evening and after an extremely close upwind battle in 40kts plus pulled out a substantial lead over Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates have just (1055) taken the second place, one and a half miles ahead of the chasing pack which is led by Brasil 1, just a few metres ahead of Ericsson and then movistar.

Brasil 1 has done a remarkable job of sailing past two boats on the run in to the finish from Ambrose Light. In fact, on the approach to the light Brasil 1 was well behind, but chipped away until they slipped inside Ericsson at Coney Island and held off the others as they came through the Narrows and saw the Statue of Liberty. They have just a couple of miles to go to the finish off North Cove Marina.

Further out at sea, Brunel has just made Ambrose light, well in front of ABN AMRO Two who are nine miles back. But ABN AMRO Two are making two knots more than the Australians, but even if they carry on with this speed discrepancy, there is not enough time in the 30 miles to go, for them to overtake.

As he stepped off the boat this morning Sanderson, the winning skipper, said: “It was a very sweet victory. The win on the first leg is still the sweetest of all but as we are closing into the finish they are getting sweeter and sweeter?

“?It was pretty wet and wild! It was quite a stressful race for us because we realised we had to push the boat outside the red line which I keep talking about and pulled back from. If we wanted to win this leg we were going to have to push it pretty hard up wind. The reason we chose to do that is because of the points that are up for grabs and it was our boat’s conditions. As Baltimore proved we still have to earn the points when it’s our turn. A bad race for us is when the conditions are right for us and we don’t grab the points. Saying that, we are here in one piece so we got away with it so we are lucky.

Brad Jackson took a bit of a fall, so he spent a good chunk of the time bed ridden. Maybe he’s got big plans for New York.”

Despite winning and adding more points to their already healthy total Sanderson and team are still reluctant to get too excited about the prospect of an overall win, Sanderson concluded: “This race is far from over? but we are looking pretty cool at the moment. This boat was built for the Atlantic, I’m dying to get out there [on the next leg]. Some of that fast reaching on flat water.”